NCERT History –How the First World War impacted India

January 31, 2013 at 2:35 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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NCERT History – Chapter – ‘The Making of National Movement 1870-1947’ —- Question 3

The First World War’s Impact on India

The First World War (1914-18) plunged Britain in a savage, utterly destructive war. Inevitably, India, being the largest British colony then, got drawn into the conflict as a major source of men and material. The massive mobilization of resources unsettled India in the following ways.

a. The war operations in Europe sucked huge quantities of commodities like wheat, rice, sugar, tea, coffee etc. The export of the items from India caused scarcity in the domestic market. Prices rose sharply bringing immense distress to the low and middle class consumers.

b. Jute bag was among the non-food items that was in great demand in the war front. Its diversion to the war front also caused acute shortages at home. To read further click here


Similar words — Learning their correct use

January 30, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Learning the use of

Eye-catching,       Conspicuous,       Visible,      Apparent,     Attractive,      Stand out,     Dazzling,      Eye-popping,


Eye-catching —– During the Kumbh Mela, consumer goods manufacturers trying to take advantage of the huge gathering of people, display their products in eye-catching positions to get optimum publicity.
Conspicuous — Gun-wielding young men were quite conspicuous in the meeting called by the Taliban leader in the city of Karachi. Security forces were conspicuous by their absence. This surprised the media persons covering the event. To read further click here.

NCERT History — India after Independence (Question 8)

January 29, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Answer to Question — Chapter — India after Independence—Question no.8 …….

The need to put India in a fast track of economic development was uppermost in the minds of our leaders. Only through quick economic growth, India could lift its poor and deprived masses and bring them back to the mainstream of the society. To achieve this, India had to improve its agricultural productivity, because ours was an agrarian economy. Improving industrial base of the country was also important. This could improve employment. To achieve these two objectives, the following steps were taken.

1. The central government formed the Planning Commission – a body of experts who could design and execute development schemes.

2. The ‘Mixed Economy’ model was adopted to encourage both the private sector and public sector to set up industries in a complimentary manner.

3. It was decided to maintain focus on heavy industries for a long period of 20- to 30 years, so that the fruits of such efforts are available to the country.

Like this, India set itself in the path of quick economic progress.


Right word in the right place — Winning exercises GMAT /CAT/ XAT / GRE

January 26, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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English test 6A …….

Choose the right word from the three words in the bracket at the end of the sentence.

a. Smith was an attractive young man in the office. Two girl colleagues vied with one another to attract his attention. There was the vivacious Anne and the silent Lara who was not so gifted. Everyone thought Anne will carry the day, and Lara will be left with a broken heart. But, there was one minus in Anne. She was ——– by nature. Smith wanted a life partner, not so much a sizzling partner in the bed. Finally, Lara won the race and Anne was left broken-hearted. (Cohort, Calumny, Capricious)

b. Some African countries very rich in natural resources fail to attract foreign investors because they have military dictators who are not only corrupt, but ——— . (Blithe, Capricious, Sagacious)

To read further click here

NCERT History — Indian nationalism in art

January 24, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NCERT History —Class 8

Emergence of a national style of art in India during the British rule … (Question 7)

Undaunted by the overwhelming British colonial power, Indian artists had continuously tried to re-discover India’s creativity in the field of painting.

Towards the end of the nineteenth century, there appeared to be convergence between India’s art and nationalism. At the forefront of this movement were eminent artists like Raja Ravi Verma of KAerala and Abanindranath Tagore of Bengal.

A word about Raja Ravi Verma — Verma belonged to the Maharaja family of Travancore in Kerala. Hence, he got to be addressed as ‘Raja’. As a painter, he broke new ground. He adopted the best of western style oil painting to create ‘life study’ paintings of royal courts, persons and scenes merging them with Indian mythological tales. His creations of the scenes from the Mahabharat and the Ramayana were astoundingly beautiful and realistic. His paintings became the prized possessions of the Kings, Maharajas and the aristocrats.
But, Ravi Verma did something quite unusual. To reach his masterly paintings to the common people, he arranged for their mass printing and sale in very affordable prices. His printing venture in Bombay, thus, went a long way to generate awareness about good art among the general public.

A word about Abanindranath Tagore (1871-1951) … Abanindranath Tagore lead a group of aspiring painters to project a totally different ethos in Indian painting. They felt, Raja Ravi Verma’s style was more western than Indian. They felt mythological paintings were not the need of the day. According to them, resurgent India needed to re-discover its own art forms again instead of imitating the oil painting traditions of the west. Abanindranath felt eastern spiritualism should continue to be the theme of Indian painters. So, they went ahead to do the miniature paintings as existed in medieval India. They also found it worthwhile to popularize the mural paintings found in the Ajanta caves.

Thus, the paintings coming out of Abanindranath school centered around Rajastani miniatures, some Japanese arts and the Ajanta murals.

Contribution of younger artists —-The art scene in India had always remained in a state of flux. By 1920, some painters drifted away from the Abanindranath school to adopt contemporary real life themes such as folk art and tribal designs.


NCERT History model answer for class 8 — Colonial British painters works

January 24, 2013 at 11:53 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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NCERT Class 8 History answers ..

British Painters in colonial India — their canvass, their style and their themes (Question number 6) ……

For the art-loving British colonial travelers to India, the vast and varied landscape of the colony provided a veritable choice of objects. The British painters got down to their jobs with gusto – some painting on commission, others doing it as freelancers. The British painters chose broadly three different themes.

1. Some painters chose the large imposing colonial buildings as their objects. These paintings exuded the colonial government’s power and authority. Their architecture was of European style

2. Some other painters chose the dilapidated Indian temples, mosques, mansions and palaces. Any observer of these paintings got the intended message – the architectural heritage of the country lying in ruins cried for British colonizers’ help and expertise for restoration.

3. A few intrepid painters forayed into the countryside to paint the diverse cultural and social canvas of the country. But, again the message was the same – India is a primitive, poor and backward country which needed a savior to lift it from the morass.

Like in John Zoffany’s paintings, the British officials were portrayed as strong, intelligent and educated. In contrast, the Indians were painted as docile subjects serving their British masters in servile manners. Zoffany’s paintings were, no doubt, exquisite pieces of art, but the sense of British superiority came out loud and clear from his paintings. On the whole, almost all British painters portrayed British arrogance and snobbery vis-à-vis their Indian subjects.

Vocabulary test for GMAT/ GRE/ CAT/ XAT and Journalism students

January 22, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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English Test for vocabulary building…



In the passages marked a, b, c, d, and e, there are blank spaces. Chose the right word from the list given below and insert it in the right blank space.


Perfidy,     Perfunctory,      Rambunctious,     Rile,     Roil,     Resuscitate,     Stupendous,     Stupefy,     Rant,     Wryly,      Ruminate,      Reminisce,      Savoured,      Hulk,      Morbid




a. The young Mac had married his heart-throb Isabel, a colleague in the office, with great fanfare. On the eve of the wedding, he had promised her the moon. Isabel had looked forward to great marital bliss and a cozy little home. But, her dreams started to turn sour just six months in to the marriage. To her horror, she discovered that Mac was involved with at least two more flirtatious relationships. Without her knowledge, he had taken a loan from the bank to buy a fridge, and fallen back on the installment payments. Her husband’s ——— shattered her mind.


To add to her owe, their first child arrived soon. It was a daughter. She was a lovely child, but utterly ——–, causing great commotion at home round the whole day. The child frayed her nerves through her exuberant behavior.




b. Isabel ——— her fate. It was clear the marriage had not worked she had dreamed. She was staring down a barrel. She was locked in an unhappy relationship for the rest of his life. ——– and arguments flew back and forth each time she tried to speak to Mac about her apprehensions. Gradually, the realization dawned on her that she will have to part ways with Mac sooner than later. Attempts to ———- the marriage were going to be an uphill task.




c. One day, Isabel confronted Mac with the question, “Are you going to torment me all through my life? Are you contemplating to divorce me?” She had thought her blunt questions would ——– Mac. To her great surprise, Mac just walked away saying, “Can’t we discuss it some other day?” Such ——— response from Mac took Isabel by surprise. ——– by the casual attitude of Mac who had once promised her the moon, she began to ———– about her days in the college when she, at the prime of her youth, was so sought after by boys of her class.




d. Isabel called up her friend Sandy and asked her to come. Sandy came. Isabel poured her agonies before her. Sandy, too, had faced similar situation in her life. Sandy spoke kindly to Isabel and told her that settling down with another man in a second marriage was going to be a ——— task. Isabel smiled ——— thinking how her married life had turned bitter before she ——– its sweetness. A pall of gloom hung over her life.




e. Isabel knew if she lived like this, she will be reduced to a ——- in less than five years. Then the society will mock her. ——— thoughts filled her mind in the night when she lay motionless beside Mac.




English comprehension skill building

January 19, 2013 at 2:56 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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English Test 5 …. (Total 100 marks)

Letter writing … 10 + 10+15=35 marks

a. Write a letter to one of your aged aunt about the risks of osteoporosis for elderly ladies. Suggest some actions and precautions she needs to take to preempt any serious accident.
b. You have an American friend who knows nothing about oriental philosophy and culture. Write a letter to her explaining the uniqueness of Fakir Mohan Senapati’s writings, and the contribution Tulsi Das (writer of the Ramayana) made to India’s spiritual heritage.
c. Your school-going younger brother living in a hostel wants to learn about Millennium Development Goals and India’s achievement and failures with respect to it. Write him a letter explaining the matter.
Caution —-Lifting sentences from internet will result in negative marking.
Make sentences with … 2×25 =50 marks
  Gamut,     Chivalry,      Clairvoyant,     Felony,     Chide,     Pour over,     Nocturnal,     Vivacious,      Vilify,     Fecund,     Ardent,     Boulevard,     Avante Garde,      Gruesome,     Sombre,     Poignant,      Pillage,      Ramification,      Ruminate,      Largesse,      Redoubtable, Sullen,      Languid,      Impeccable,       Garner
Make sentences with the following idioms … 3×5=15 marks
Flash in the pan,   Carry the load on one’s shoulders,    A cooling off period,    To be caught between the devil and the deep sea,    To face Hobson’s choice

Kumbh Mela — Hindus’s life-cleansing dip

January 15, 2013 at 10:55 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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India’s Kumbh Mela – Mother of all Melas

Mithi(13) and Raghu(15) have started their day at 3am in the river bed at the Sangam – the place where India’s two holiest and mightiest rivers meet. Accompanied by their parents they have come here not as pilgrims, but to sell roasted groundnuts to some of those among the 110 million tourists who will throng Allahabad in the coming 55 days.

Business has been brisk. Raghu sells the roasted nuts putting them in conical paper rolls, his mother keeps the money, Mithi fries the groundnuts in the open fire and the father shoos away the prying police men with small bribes befitting to their ranks. Thus the family business runs forming part of the gigantic band of service providers who are expected to earn close to 120 billion rupees in just 55 days.

Airlines, five star hotels, railways, tongawallahs, eateries, small lodges, taxis will all be part of the army of individuals and enterprises that will cater to the needs of mammoth gathering of pilgrims descending on this historic city of Allahabad in North India. Allahabad known for urban decay and administrative sloth is bursting at the seams trying to cope with this sea of humanity. The logistical challenges of providing so many people certain minimum shelter, food, water, transportation, hygiene, security and emergency healthcare are very daunting indeed. The fear of a stampede, terror-linked bomb blasts, epidemics like cholera, ethnic squabbles, drowning or similar accidents lurks in the minds of the administration officials overseeing the Kumbh Mela operations. Security arrangements have been the toughest to put in place. As many as 30, 000 police men are on duty. Frisking of almost every incoming visitor is being done at all entry points. Sniffer dogs, electronic sensors, bomb disposal squads remain on round the clock duty.

Fourteen makeshift hospitals with nearly 250 doctors have been set up to operate on 24×7 hour basis to provide emergency medical assistance to the needy. The district administration has braced itself well for the occasion. It has left no stones unturned to face any crisis that might arise anytime, anywhere and due to any reason. Fire Brigade, Ambulances, efficient Public Address Systems, Observation posts and multitude of volunteers have been organized. All these will cost the public exchequer a whopping 10 billion rupees.

In sheer size and complexity, garnering of such mind-boggling amount of resources will flummox anyone in the world. The ceremonial bathing in the chilled waters in the Sangam started this Monday at dawn.

First to take the ceremonial dips in the water were groups of Sadhus or holy men who came with their disciples and cavalcades of elephants, camels, horses, and music bands. These Sadhus belong to different strains of Hinduism. With their ash-coloured naked bodies, they provided the most queer and intriguing sight for the visitors from abroad. For the photo-journalists and the TV crew, it was a life-time occasion to shoot.

Hindus believe a dip in the holy waters on Kumbh Mela days rids them of their sins. Many eminent reformers of Hinduism have questioned this assertion, but the blind belief has stood the onslaught of the rationalists, reformers, non-believers and the atheists. Even Swami Dayanand Saraswati, founder of the Arya Samaj had launched a frontal attack on the protagonists of the sanctifying powers of the ceremonial dip at the Sangam – the confluence of the two rivers, the Ganges and the Yamuna. The Kumbh Mela still continues to beckon the believers from far and wide, despite the huge challenges of making the trip and returning safely. Both the curious and the critical foreign visitors have come in droves this year to feast their eyes with the spectacle of the ceremonial bathing, which might appear bizarre and grotesque to many western eyes. The anecdote from which Kumbh Mela draws its sanctity is quite amusing. It seems the gods and the demons got into a duel to seize a drum of nectar. During the ensuing skirmish, four drops of the nectar got scattered and fell on earth in four different rivers. The four cities located near the rivers are Allahabad, Ujjain, Nasik and Haridwar. From time immemorial, people have been thronging these four holy places at intervals of three years, in rotation basis. This means, the present Kumbh Mela has come to Allahabad after a gap of 12 years.

So many things about India are unique; some are unsavoury, some others sub lime. The tradition of taking dips in rivers and beseech God on an auspicious day like Kumbh Mela is one such lofty practice that the world looks at bewilderingly. Hindus brave the hazards boldly, breaking records of attendance at religious gatherings anywhere in the world –all because of the call of Faith.


Comprehension skills through idioms and vocabulary

January 8, 2013 at 9:39 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Make sentences with the following words … 2×30=60 marks.

Plump,   Platitude,   Perusal,   Niggardly,   Nihilistic,   Nauseating,   Nestled,   Rigour, Rigorous,   Reel,   Savour,   Disdain,   Subjugate,   Suite,   Salacious,   Truncated,   Turn-out, Crack down,   Crack-down,   Count-down,   Decipher,    Turn-coat,   Coalesce,   Candour, Sordid,   Tutelage,   Tinsel Town,   Derision,   Irascible,   Nullify


Use the following phrases and idioms in the sentences given below. … 2×10=20 marks.

Pull up one’s socks,     Turn a new leaf,      Hit below the belt,      Wild goose chase,      Have second thoughts,      Make a mountain out of a molehill,      Hit the nail on the head,       Let bygones be bygones,      Throw in the towel,      Burn one’s fingers,       Keep one’s fingers crossed

a. Iran is passing through a very severe foreign exchange crisis as a result of the sanctions imposed by the United States of America. But outwardly, it does not appear to have daunted the morale of the Iranian leadership. The Ayatollah has called upon the people to —————- to weather the difficult times bravely.

b. The Delhi state assembly elections are due in a few months. The Congress and the BJP will be the main contenders. Arvind Kejriwal’s newly-formed AAP is likely to ———–.

c. The Chief Secretary ————- when he told the electricity distribution companies that they can never make profit if power theft is not stopped completely. Asking for permission to hike power tariff was, therefore, not a sensible idea.

d. After discovering that her boy friend frequents pubs with some other members of the opposite sex, the girl is ————– about continuing the relationship.

e. The Americans will soon leave Afghanistan drawing the curtains down on a very bloody period in the country’s history. It is hoped that the average citizen will get some respite from the atrocities of the Taliban and the fierce reprisal from the Coalition forces that follows in the leg of the Taliban attacks. Common folks living in the rural hinterland hope to ————– in their lives, growing dates, grapes and many such fruits for which their country is famous.

f. American electioneering often turns ugly with rival candidates trying to smear each other’s character. Sometimes veteran politicians from both sides and eminent American step in to advise the candidates to maintain dignity and not ———— . (opposing candidate)

g. On September 16, 1992, Britain led by a Conservative government opted out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) after the currency trader George Soros mounted a speculative attack on the pound sterling. Britain lost nearly 2.4 billion pound sterling just in a couple of days. Britain ———— in the ERM arrangement and vowed never to return to it again.

h. After the Second World War, Germany and France who had fought bitterly in the War let ——————— and decided to forge new bonds of co-operation and understanding.

i. There was a bitter exchange of words between the bowler and the batsman over a supposedly offensive gesture by the former. The two two umpires came in and counseled the players not to —————- and let the match proceed peacefully.

j. The Maoists kidnapped the Collector and vanished into the deep jungles. For the police party sent to trace the Collector, it proved to be a ————-.


Comprehension questions —– 5+5+10=20 marks

a. How does the camel survive so well in a desert? 5

b. Why is America considering imposition of heavy import duties on shrimp imports? 5

c. Your sister living with your uncle in a distant town has stopped going to college to avoid being harassed by some evil elements loitering on the roads. Narrating the story of the Pakistani girl Malala, write her a letter of encouragement and not to be cowed down by the ruffians. 10


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